Be the Boss fund suspended!

So, after three months of arrseing around, writing and re-writing a bloody great business plan and cash-flow forecast that could launch a fortune 500 company, the British Legion has just, with no warning, suspended applications for the Be the Boss scheme, leaving me (and according to my “advisor” another 35 guys he’s dealing with) out in the cold!

I cannot express in language that can be published on here how thoroughly fcuked off I am. The B.L. do an amazing job but this has got to be the worst, underhanded and bloody crappy thing they could have done!
The business will provide a waste timber removal and recycling service for local businesses, provide “day-care” and work experience services for local residents, aged 18+ in the future, back to work training or work experience training for long-term unemployed, as well as work based rehabilitation.
There is no other business in Doncaster using reclaimed timber to provide these services for this demographic of the Doncaster population.

With regards the waste collection services, most wood waste currently collected in the local area is “sold” on to shredding companies who then use it in either the particle board business or used in biomass power generation. Most if not all of the waste wooden window frames are disposed of to landfill. The business will reduce how much of this waste is shredded or landfilled and will increase the amount of wood that is re-used.

Customers will prefer our business as it will be cheaper, reducing costs, it can be announced that the customer is supporting a local social enterprise and its waste wood is being recycled in a sustainable manner.

With regards the “day-care” and work placements, the business will initially concentrate building the business to accommodate the work placement aspect.

The business has six main objectives;

• To provide daily purposeful, constructive activities and work experience placements to unemployed adults and young people with learning difficulties or other disadvantages in Doncaster.
• Provide training in important life skills to the clients.
• To give support to clients through a mutual support process, ensuring each clients training and employability needs are met.
• Establishing a workshop in the town that will recycle waste wood in to usable engineered timber products made from natural materials for sale in the community.
• To reduce the amount of waste wood being disposed of in to landfill or being burnt.
• Undertaking community projects that will enhance the lives of the participants and the community.

Funds needed to set up, £8,250, return, with a lot of hard work and many, many hours, around £70,000 to be re-invested.
Sounds like a social enterprise rather than a traditional business. Not something I have knowldege of or could add value to, so not one for me.

Given the social/rehabilitation/umemployed angle, surely there would be grants available in that amount?
It is socially based, but run as a private company would be run, i.e. with making a profit in mind rather than looking for funding every year! You would think there was funding out there to start something like this, but no! It seems no-one wants to give any cash out at the moment and its becoming very bloody frustrating!
Uh oh, along with another ex reg and an ex TA lad I am running a microbrewery set up with BtB funding, and we were just about to look at their expansion loan packages to get some works done. Is the scheme suspended entirely or are they only holding back on new applications?

Sorry to hear about your setback, sounds like a good scheme too. If they do get it back up and running and you want some help with your business case, we have been through the whole system and would be happy to assist you with any advice you might want. Drop me a pm if you like.


Thanks for the heads-up. BtB was one area I was looking at for raising equity, but not until I'd seen some feedback from satisfied customers. Oh well, back to the original plan of trying to prise peanuts out of the offshore sector.

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